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Louisville - Thursday Night

A night filled with young horses began with a class for young riders, as an astonishing field of 20 joined for the Senior Equitation Championship. After a railwork in which these riders were called upon to use every ounce of acquired ring savvy, a group of 10 was selected to remain in the show ring and execute the pattern work. It was a workout full of transitions and pivots, along with some no-stirrups work, starting at the trot and continuing at the canter. It was a pattern that required extreme precision and horsemanship. As Brittany McGinnis waited for her number to be called to work the pattern, the eighth of 10 to go, her expression never changed. She was the epitome of focus and determination. The only window through the “game face” came when she had arrived back at the lineup after her pattern and exhaled with relief. It was a job well done, and one that sent her to the winner’s circle in this electric World’s Championship as the Senior Equitation World’s Champion of Champions for the first time in her career. As she parked out in the middle of the ring with Lillian Shively tearing up on one side and Todd Miles standing on the other, announcer Peter Fenton ran through her lengthy list of achievements as an Equitation rider. The 2002 9-10 Walk-and-Trot World’s Champion of Champions right here in Freedom Hall, on up through her Junior Equitation World’s Championships, the Saddle Seat Equitation Triple Crown and her Pleasure Equitation National Championships. Now here in her final attempt, she captured the only thing missing from her impeccable resume, this Louisville tri-color. Her mother, Bonnie McGinnis, was recognized as well for all that she has done throughout “Bee’s” career, before Brittany took that final Equitation victory pass on Louisville’s green shavings.

Reserve to the Champion, as he has been throughout this season, pushing Brittany every step of the way, was Nick Maupin. The lone boy rider got a rousing ovation from the crowd, as he put together what was a smooth as silk display with Coco Mojo. His mom, Melissa Maupin, along with trainers Scott and Carol Matton, were in full voice when Nick’s number was called as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, but even Scotty was quickly drowned out by the multitude in attendance. Three times a World’s Champion, Nick will be in his 17-year-old season in 2011. He set himself up as the Morning Line favorite with his performance here tonight. Third in the class went to last year’s Reserve World’s Champion of Champions, Taylor Newton. Directed by Shelley Fisher, Newton is in just her 15-year-old season. She added to an impressive Louisville resume with her third place finish tonight. Reserve in her age group this year, she had previously won it every year since 2005! Hunter Chancellor used an aggressive railwork and well performed pattern to capture fourth place with Chanti’s Prayer for the DeLovely banner. Abby Mutrux and Blackboard had similar success in fifth, also for DeLovely, while Alexandra Lawson finished sixth for the red and black curtains. Jordyn Broten finished in seventh, while Mallory Hartigan capped off her junior exhibitor career in Freedom Hall with an eighth place finish. Peter Fenton noted that five of the 10 called back for additional work were from the DeLovely Farm, as the two others called back for the top half of the class were Mollie Kregor and DeLovely’s Jessica Wuesthofen.

The Junior Three-Gaited Championship was a good old fashioned barn burner, as a group of good ones came trotting down the chute. Jackie Tanner and Brookhill’s Glam Slam had a great first way, while Call Me Regal and Kenny Smith kept pouring it on, especially on the reverse. The crowd got into it and started to rock, as only Freedom Hall can. Working every stride of the way in perfect walk-trot form was one of the most talented young horses going. This was Real Action. Aptly named with his leg-waving ways, Real Action was consistently brilliant all throughout this competitive clash. He and Peter Cowart did not take well to the first reserve finish of his phenomenal career, and they were back with a vengeance here on Thursday night. They captured the judges’ attention and held it all throughout to win it all for McKenzie and Plunkett. There was another big ovation for a Reserve Champion in this one, as Call Me Regal and Kenny Smith picked up the red white and yellow ribbon in second for Barbara Goodman Manilow. Winner of his split of the Junior Under 2 earlier in the week, Call Me Regal was back under saddle in Freedom Hall this week for the first time since he famously captured a Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Championship in 2008. The smooth and consistent park-trotting machine Brookhill’s Glam Slam was third with Jackie Tanner up for the O’Brien Family Trust. They were Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited World’s Champions on this night last year. It was a highly decorated field and one deserving of the lauds of the crowd.

After the junior walk-trots left the ring, Mary Gaylord McClean was inducted into the American Road Horse and Pony Association Hall of Fame. Raymond Shively and Dr. T.J. Blevins joined to represent the ARHPA in honoring one of the great ladies of the show ring. Mary was saluted with a standing ovation from the crowd. She is truly one of the great ones to have ever graced the green shavings, and her induction was well-deserved.

A turbulent and tumultuous Amateur Fine Harness Championship came to the ring 10 strong, with Peter Fenton quipping after a near miss on the first rail, “Getting to know each other here in our Amateur Fine Harness Championship.” Winding his way through the traffic, James Miller made his first two visits to the Louisville show ring count, as he picked up two World’s Championships on the week, including this one in Amateur Fine Harness with Heir’s Treasure. Trained by Kalarama Farm, Heir’s Treasure was the Amateur qualifier winner and Champion at Lexington as well. James Miller’s presentation of the Hillcroft Farm entry has risen to great heights as the year has progressed, culminating in this highest of honors. The crowd erupted for Reserve Champion It’s Dan The Man and Anna Marie Knipp. An entry of the High Spirits Farm, trained by Megan Nicole Harrison, Dan The Man couldn’t find a spot to himself in this big field, surviving a couple of near misses. Junior Fine Harness World’s Champion of Champions in 2009, he made a great show in reserve. Jan Beardsley Blanco and Unclaimed made the switch back to Fine Harness this year for the Fairfield South team. They were Pleasure Driving Reserve World’s Champions a year ago. They capped their week with a strong third in this one, their second third place finish on the week. CH Harlem’s Santa Fe and Susan Bartlett rounded out the top four.

A great story in the Five-Gaited Pony Championship, young Mitch Tunstall rode I See Daylight to top honors in a field of seven. A rescue horse, I See Daylight at one point in his life had to have his stall taken apart just to get him out. He had been in it for three years, hence his new name. Now under the ownership of Barbara Von Borries, the lady who saved him, and the expert care of the Tunstalls, I See Daylight went from near death all the way to the Louisville winner’s circle in his rags to riches story with a Louisville tri-color and blanket of flowers. Foster Roberts continued the week of his young life with a reserve world title aboard Mango Momma. An entry of Joe E. Johnson, Mango Momma was reserve in the gaited pony stake at Lexington as well. The athletic bay mare is by Wild-Eyed Warrior and out of a The Chairman Of The Board mare. Jewels For A Lady and Tanner Parham completed the sweep of the top three spots for the boy riders for Steven Myers. They were Reserve World’s Champion of Champions in 2009.

Melinda Moore got her night started off right as the fast and furious winner of the Ladies Roadster to Bike class with Talladega Nights. County Fair Champion on Sunday Night, Talladega Nights was back at it again in this special UPHA Pink Ribbon event. To quote Ricky Bobby from the movie Talladega Nights, “That just happened!” Winner of this class last year, Ashland was the Reserve World’s Champion with Kathy Barlow driving for Mike and Kathy Barlow. This grand mare was the Roadster to Bike Mare World’s Champion on Monday morning. Zulu and Ruth Gimpel finished in third for Helen and James Rosburg, while Rum’s Last Shot gave it one last shot, finishing fourth for Jennifer Robertson in his final show ring appearance. Four times a reserve winner here in Freedom Hall and County Fair Champion in 2008, he was always a crowd favorite. Following this class James Nichols, Bret Day and Jim Taylor made a $10,000 presentation to Horses And Hope, as part of the UPHA Pink Ribbon Program that fights to find a cure for breast cancer, a horrible disease that has impacted each and every one of our lives.

One Mare World’s Champion produced another in the Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Mare class, as The Next Big Star sparked the crowd with Tre Lee aboard for Kristen Bagdasarian. By CF First Night Out, Next Big Star is out of CH Glider’s Star, the Five-Gaited Mare World’s Champion in 2005. Getting that leg-waving style and verve for the show ring that made her dam such a crowd favorite, Next Big Star inherited that charisma as well, that air about a horse that just makes the crowd want to cheer her on. Bob Brison had an outstanding first direction with Eastside as the Reserve World’s Champion for B&T Vonderschmitt LLC. This long-necked bay filly is by A Superb Manhattan and out of Bonne Nuit, by CF First Night Out. First Night Out figured into both of the top two prize winners in this one. But wait, let’s make that the top three, as Cavalia finished third with Matt Shiflet up for Christina Athanasuleas. This pretty black filly made a fantastic under saddle debut for her sire, CF First Night Out, and dam, Viola Madden. Not by First Night Out but by Dorian Wild Temper, The Veldt Queen was fourth for Steve Wheeler and Fox Grape Farms Inc.

Judy McNeish and Invincible Summer were third in the Roadster to Wagon Championship three years in a row, they were second in this class two years in a row, but they would make it more than just one year in a row in first, as they backed up their breakthrough performance of a year ago with a second straight tri-color trip down victory lane. Karen Medicus and Raymond Shively joined for the round of honor, as Judy McNeish “went for the doctor” and drove to top honors once again. Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for the second year in a row, Skatmando picked up second with Steve Crabtree leaning way out of the cart for Bob Jenkins. This was the third Reserve World’s Championship of Skatmando’s young career. Raising The Bar and longtime road horse enthusiast Glenn A. Werry Jr. finished in third.

Sir William Robert was the dominant force in the Junior Fine Harness Championship, as his offspring captured the top two spots. The Stallion/Gelding winner and the Mare winner squared off for the Junior World’s Championship in this one, with HS Dignitary getting the edge with George Knight at the lines for Hagan Saddlebreds. With a head and neck like a chess piece, Dignitary just floats down the rail in that signature George Knight style. By Sir William Robert, he is out of the three-time World’s Champion mare, A Daydream Believer, who has gone on to produce World’s Champion after World’s Champion. She was a winner in harness as well as a young horse, so combined with Sir William Robert’s two, there are three Fine Harness world titles in the first generation of Dignitary’s pedigree. The other half of the William Robert exacta was Madison Brown, Junior Mare winner with Redd Crabtree driving for new owner Faydelle Schott. This elegant chestnut mare is out of Cisitalia, a two-time Reserve World’s Champion as a gaited horse. Madison Brown was also the Junior Fine Harness winner at Lexington this year. It was a big ovation that greeted third-place finisher Ready To Jet, as Eric Antman drove from the ring for Caroline Melka. This light chestnut with lots of chrome is by Buck’s Co-Star and out of Callaway’s Blue Jet. Blue Jet is out of the great Callaway’s Agatha Christie, the dam of Callaway’s Blue Agate, Adelita, Callaway’s Little Dipper, and many more, including the stallion The Mystery Writer. They made a pass on the way out of the ring that was for the ages, as the crowd cheered them on to even greater heights.

The Three-Gaited Pony Championship was an absolute throwback, including the presence of Victor Maldonado! Victor famously rode Lady Oracle to multiple wins of this class, matched up always against his chief rival, Little Sport Model, with Ashley Saunders. That may have been the last time a crowd got this pumped up and into a Three-Gaited Pony World’s Championship, but those in attendance saw a throwdown showdown between some of the best walk-trot ponies to ever set foot in the ring. When the winning number was called, it was Dylan Hines that burst into tears of joy, riding down to the winner’s circle aboard Manhattan’s Irish Cream, kissing and hugging his horse’s neck as he rode. He made the ride of his life here tonight on the biggest stage, building as the class went on, picking up more and more crowd support. Tyler DeVore and Madge Bass made the run to the far end, before Dylan and Irish Cream made a victory pass that was an absolute knockout. It was a memory that will last a lifetime for this young man. He raised his hat to the heavens as he rode from the ring, leaving the crowd buzzing in the wake of his showmanship. Leaving the ring as the Reserve World’s Champion of Champions for the third time, the defending World’s Champion of Champions, CH The Attache Orchid, made another consistently sparkling presentation with Hunter Chancellor aboard for Steve Chancellor. In the spirit of Pink Ribbon Night, Hunter once again wore her bright pink formal coat aboard this superstar DeLovely entry. They pushed hard in reserve, earning a first place vote for their efforts. Powerful Tango and Dominque Bowlen were a strong third for Alex Bowlen and the Cater Stables team. The light blue formal coat seems to be all the rage for walk-trot ponies, as Dominique was one of three riders to sport this look. Catherine Wheeler looked lovely in sage green for a fourth place finish with Amelia Heir Cat for Ceil and Kenny Wheeler.

An extraordinary four horse class and a quick call left everyone wanting more in the Ladies Fine Harness Championship, as this remarkably talented group park trotted to the heavens. Though his first World’s Championship was in the walk-trot division, the choice to go to the harness ranks will never be one that anyone questions, as Lace’s Last Tango earned the support of all three judges as the World’s Champion of Champions. Priscilla Marconi was once again at the lines for Tri-Color Ventures and the Lowry Stables banner. This team became a top contender in this very ring two years ago with a spectacular Reserve World’s Championship in the Amateur Fine Harness division. A year ago they moved up a spot to earn the World’s Champion of Champions title, and now in 2010, it is a new division with the same result. By Arborlane Tangos Wee Pee and out of Sultan’s Leather & Lace, you could see his dam marching down that same rail as he came head on towards the in gate end of the ring. Anita Simpson and CH Mother Mary earned their third reserve world title together with a Reserve World’s Championship in this one for Richard and Anita Simpson and the Mercer Springs banner. With that smile that lights up the ring, Anita claims that she can’t help but smile as soon as that cool Freedom Hall air hits her on the way down the chute. That doesn’t help explain why she has that same look of happiness at places like The Red Mile. Perhaps this grand southern lady just loves to show her beautiful former World’s Grand Champion. Lady Vol hit the ring looking more than ready to defend her three-time title with Chris Kaplan at the helm for Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Inc. Mike Roberts and Zach Duffy direct this one for the Mike Roberts Stable. They finished in third in this marvelous class of ladies horses.

In the first section of Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited, Work It and John Conatser took home the blue for Kenny and Ceil Wheeler. A bay with four white ankle socks, Work It was way up high in the bridle for Conatser in first place. By the great walk-trot stud Castle Bravo, Work It is out of Titleist Imagination, by Titleist. He was a Reserve World’s Champion in harness just a year ago. Reserve in this one went to Annie’s Perfect Design with Deborah Visser. An entry of James Orr, Perfect Design is by Designed and out of Annie’s Cabernet, by Kalarama Cabernet. They made a freaky, rocked back and marching performance in second to delight the crowd. Black and bold and taking third in Freedom Hall for the second year in a row, Kalarama’s Too Hot To Handle was third for James Wallen and Wallen Central Inc. This one is by Exalted Effect and out of Fever, by War Image. A World’s Champion in harness last year, Caroline Brackenridge was fourth, this time with Tammy DeVore aboard for Susan Hanna.

It was an emotional scene in Section Two of this Three-Year-Old Three-Gaited division, as Bret Day rode Gotta Feeling to the winner’s circle for Joyce and David Hamblin. The listed rider for this entry was Joe Elam. Joe left this world far too early, passing away last month after battling cancer. He trained this young star through most of the year and would have been aboard for this World’s Championship round of honor. Bret Day did the honors tonight for his great friend Joe, as Peter Fenton noted Joe Elam’s passing during the victory pass. “Here’s to you, Joe,” said Fenton. Here’s to Joe, indeed. Gotta Feeling was a bit of a happy mistake, as he was a “pasture mistake” by a couple of young horses who were feeling their oats just a little too much. By the wildly athletic Racing Stripe, he is out of Monogram’s Daisy, by Stonewall’s Monogram.

Todd Graham debuted Callaway’s Dancing In The Dark to a red ribbon for Pinekrest Farm in this field of young walk-trots. By Nureyev, Dancing In The Dark is out of Callaway’s Born Blessed, by CH Callaway’s Born To Win. Her second dam is Callaway’s Zerelda, the Broodmare Hall of Fame dam of Callaway’s Banner Headline. Trimmed in flaxen, she was looking fine and fancy in reserve. Legacy’s Cinemac and George Schmid finished third for Calvin Patton, with Phicicle and Tre Lee fourth for John T. Jones. Receiving perhaps the biggest round of applause was eighth-place finisher It’s Just Jack. Darrell Case had a bit of an eventful entrance to the show ring with this big, strapping colt, but cowboyed up and made a great show for the approval of the crowd.

The Moore girls stole away with the lion’s share of the prize money in the $15,000 USTA Roadster to Bike Classic, as the sisters took the top two spots. Melinda Moore won her second Roadster to Bike World’s Championship of the night with Belle Starr, the unanimous winner of this class that has consistently produced the next round of champion road horses. Owned and shown be Melinda Moore, Belle Starr has been consistently brilliant all year, winning at Lawrenceburg, Harrodsburg and Shelbyville, as well as Asheville earlier in the season. Melissa Moore had Katy Kat up for the Reserve World’s Championship. Another driver-owned entry, Katy Kat was a winner at Midwest Charity earlier this year. Melissa made the drive all the way down to the winner’s circle to congratulate sister Melinda on her World’s Championship win. Carl Julian and Larry Jenkins drove to third in this one, with Dantana Kash and Derrick Westbrook fourth for Galbraith Stables.

Two sections of Three-Year-Old Five-Gaited Stallion/Gelding finished off the Thursday night session, as the dark bay Kenny Dawson rollicked down victory lane as the unanimous winner of Section One for Lisa Rosenberger Jones and Frank H. Jones. By a New York Times grandson, Major Wager, Kenny Dawson is out of CF Hot Night Out, by CF First Night Out. His second dam is Callaway’s Coronet, making his dam a full sister to CH Yes It’s True. You want to talk about a finished-looking, hard-charging, slick-moving performance, this was a textbook one. A winner here as a two-year-old, Mister Hyde did not turn to Dr. Jekyll today, as he was the Reserve World’s Champion for Tommy Richardson. Sired by (SA) Molligny Don’t Worry Be Happy, Mister Hyde is out of City Talk, by CH The Talk Of The Town and out of Around The Town, making her double-bred Yorktown. That also makes this chestnut gelding bred to rack. Don Harris made a wildly popular third-place performance aboard Central Park Parader for Don and Judy Harris. He soaked in the applause of the crowd, just as he always does, as it continues to drive him to greater heights of showmanship. Pete Fenton dubbed him the “Father of Five-Gaited” as he left the ring.

In Section Two, the fixy and polished He’s Here For The Party was the choice for the blue ribbon, with Bob Brison making the winning ride for B & T Vonderschmitt LLC. By the Designed son, Designed To Win, Here For The Party is out of Coyote Ugly, by Northern Blues. Still undefeated, he was winner at Midwest, UPHA Chapter 5, and Des Moines earlier in the year. Second in this class went to the Phyllis Harris owned Supremacy’s Fire Fly. Tre Lee rode the Lexington winner to reserve, making it look smooth and easy, just as he does no matter the horse he is on. By Supremacy’s High Time, Fire Fly is out of Callaway’s Red Lady, a daughter of Callaway’s Blue Norther.

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